Former Georgia prosecutor charged with obstruction of Ahmaud Arbery case

A former Georgia attorney was posted on Charges related to her alleged mistreatment in the case of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was followed and shot to death last year while jogging through a district of Braunschweig.

NEW GRAVE SHOT: Former Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson, 49, was arrested and tried for breaking oath and obstruction in the Ahmaud Arbery murder case. She was charged by a grand jury last week. @ cbs46

– Hayley Mason (@HayleyMasonTV) September 8, 2021

Former Glynn County district attorney Jackie Johnson presented himself at the Glynn County’s office Wednesday morning, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, after a grand jury dismissed an officer’s charge of obstruction and oath violations last week. Johnson was released from the Glynn County Detention Center on $ 10,000 bail, the newspaper reports. Prosecutors alleged she used her position to delay the arrest of the white men who chased and killed 25-year-old Arbery.

Johnson was the district’s chief prosecutor when Arbery was fatally shot last year, and one of the armed men who pursued him had worked for her as an investigator. Georgia Republican Attorney General Chris Carr filed for indictment after filing an investigation into the possible wrongdoing by local prosecutors, who did not indict the murder.

Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael armed themselves with guns and chased in a pickup truck on February 23, 2020 after seeing Arbery in their neighborhood just outside the port city of Brunswick.

Ahmaud Arbery

Ahmaud Arbery

A neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, joined the chase and recorded a cell phone video of Travis McMichael who fatally shot Arbery at close range as Arbery fought back with his fists.

The McMichaels told police they thought Arbery was a burglar and Travis McMichael shot him in self-defense. The shootings weren’t arrested until more than two months later after the cell phone video leaked online, sparking a national outcry, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case. The McMichaels and Bryan are now in jail pending trial for murder.

Johnson insisted she didn’t do anything wrong, saying she immediately withdrew her office from handling the case because Greg McMichael was an employee.

Still, Arbery’s parents and her lawyers have long accused the former district attorney of trying to help the young man’s killers avoid prosecution.

“Yesterday was a huge win,” Wanda Cooper Jones, Arbery’s mother, told reporters last week after the indictment was announced. “I’m speechless. Unfortunately Ahmaud is not with us today. But losing Ahmaud will change a lot here in the state of Georgia.”

Johnson faces one to five years in prison if convicted of violating her oath of office. The disability charge is an administrative offense that can be punished with up to one year in prison.


LR: Gregory McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan were charged with the murder in the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia.

Glynn County Detention Center via AP / WJAX

The indictment stated that Johnson violated her oath by “showing mercy and affection” to Greg McMichael and “not treating Ahmaud Arbery and his family fairly and with dignity”. It is also said that she obstructed the police by “ordering that Travis McMichael should not be arrested”.

“She should be spending time in jail,” said Lee Merritt, an attorney for Arbery’s mother. “Her actions are not only negligent, but she actively worked to cover up the murder.”

The three defendants in the Arbery assassination will be tried next month on state murder charges. They are also expected to be tried Federal hate crime charges in February. Georgia was one of the few states that did not have a hate crime law at the time of Arbery’s assassination Passing a state hate crime Statutes last year. The new law provides longer sentences for those convicted of biased crimes, but cannot be applied retrospectively to the Arbery case.